Super Best Audio Friends
The evolution of the original irreverent and irrelevant and non-authoritative site for headphone measurements, i.e. frequency response graphs, CSD waterfall plots, subjective gear reviews. Too objective for subjectivists; too subjective for objectivists
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I originally intended to write up a 3000 word essay to describe a semi love-hate relationship with the company and how it transitioned dramatically, but instead I decided to keep it short and simple. Audeze did their homework. But they poorly label versions. This 2021 one should be given a dedicated name and product code. On behalf of Audeze, I’d like to first define what the f*** the “2021” version is.
Enjoying them for slightly more than half a month, I should confess I was deeply impressed. Both subjectively and objectively. To the extent I personally think the so-called “dark age” is over. Let me start from the subjective side. New LCD-X (for my convenience, I will call it just LCD-X henceforth) is not only a complete reboot of LCD-X OG, but also experience-wise a tasteful mixture of every good LCD-2 and LCD-3 pair I ever heard... at much much higher technicality level.
When we say Audeze bass (or planar bass in general) is good, we used to associate it with certain traits of bass reproduction. Clean, hard-hitting, and very neutral. This time around, LCD-X’s bass departed from its house bass characters a little. Lowest registers below 30-35hz feel a bit withdrawn, but anything upper sounds very organic and well-textured. The level of delicacy is leagues away from any LCD-2 I remember. Very slight bloom was also heard, which I have never observed in any of the previous Audeze products.
I don't expect anything from Final to have near perfect frequency response, fantastic measurements, or even cogent marketing speak. The product page goes on and on about being able to properly reproduce bass tones which in my experience, orthos don't much trouble doing (the D8000 is an ortho), and weird stuff about an Air Film Damping System. Maybe this is Star Trek technobabble (Japan-Fi technobabble), or perhaps something is lost in translation. I really don't give a crap because at the end of the day, there definitely something to it. Not since the Abyss AB1266 have I heard monstrous bass notes with such clarity.
The price is astronomical, but perhaps not so if you really yearn for a vintage ortho such as the NAD RP18...
One particular area where I love my penis is that its transients can vary to fit your mood and energy levels perfectly. You can have very hard-hitting, fast transients with ample decay, slow transients when you really want to savor every hit, etc etc...
Such inclusion of speakers will allow to reduce a background and to improve symmetry. But this of course need to inspect. I made an approximate design and made drawings for laser cutting and manufacturing of body parts. Two design options. The design is classic. Nothing extra.
Front mounted VU meters
HD8XX (BLU/RED) Compared to HD800S (GRY)
More body (lower mids), but less thick (cleaner less thick lows compared to HD800S) - more like the HD800 lows. Lower treble hardness and glare is tamed like HD800S with the resonator. Slightly more mid treble and top octave. The upper mid dip (or differential between this area and highs) is slightly more pronounced. This all subjectively speaking. It's still identifiable as an HD800. The changes are not significant.
Using a Jot2 and HP1 from Neurochrome. Easy to drive at 33 ohm 105dB/mW efficiency. Very comfortable for long term wear. They go on and don't move around.
The midrange is exceptional. Great separation and timbre. No bass or mid bass bleed. Details and plankton galore. Seriously hearing detail I haven't heard before, easy to distinguish different simultaneous decays, guitar cavities. There may be treble roll off, I can't say cause my ears are already rolled off. All I can say for sure is everything I can hear, I can hear better and there is quite a bit that I wasn't hearing before.
The Blessing 2 is a neutral sounding in-ear; it is a reference type signature. It has a very slight bass boost over diffuse field flat that is centered in deep bass. The result is a natural, yet neutral sounding bass with very good extension. It has impact and rumble when called for but is never over accentuated to my ears. While very nimble and quick sounding, it’s lacking a bit in texture compared to the best dynamic drivers, resulting in a slightly over damped sound.